One thing that I’ve been struggling with in the last week is waves of tightness in my chest… which then makes me think, “OMG…I have Covid!” And then I “tap myself down” using EFT (read FAQ to learn more) and I realize, “Oh, right. I just watched the nightly news. OF COURSE, my chest is tight!”
So…if you are also riding waves of unconscious fear and feeling it in your body, let me help you understand what is happening and how you might try to control it.
Let’s all agree, we’ve been receiving messages of “fear” every which way in 2020 and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to end anytime soon. All of us may have different fears but I’m going to guess they include money, illness, loneliness, political discord and well… basically uncertainty.
If we stay in a constant state of fear, we will compromise our immune system. So really FDR was right, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Let me explain what is happening.
When we are in a balanced state of body, mind, and spirit our blood is flowing through our body bringing nutrients and oxygen to all parts of us. But, when we have fear… our critter brain (the amygdala at the base of our brain) sends out an alarm signal that we’re in danger. It alerts our system to preferentially send blood to our arms and legs and away from our gut.
Why? So, we can RUN AWAY.
This saved our ancestors for ions as they ran away from lions and tigers and bears. Oh my. Stress hormones cause the blood vessels in the gut to restrict so blood goes into the arms and legs. (Think about how you feel “sick to your stomach” or “kicked in the gut” when you’re under stress. Or perhaps you don’t have an appetite.) Basically, your body is trying to protect you so it puts energy where it thinks it needs to go… to the arms and legs to escape the threat.
The adrenal system protects us from threats from the OUTSIDE…external threats… it pumps stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol into our system so that we have energy to fight or flight.
The immune system, on the other hand, protects us from threats on the INSIDE… like bacteria and viruses. And this takes a LOT of energy. Our gut houses our immune system – respiratory filtering and cleaning, assimilation of nutrients, elimination of toxins, etc. The function of the gut is to maintain the body… build it, maintain it, and keep it clean.
The adrenal system and the immune system don’t work well when they are both under stress, because stress hormones shut off the immune system. For instance, if you had the flu AND you were being chased by a tiger, your very intelligent body will give you enough energy to get away from the immediate danger of being malled, because it figures that it doesn’t matter if you have the flu if you’re no longer here anymore.
Do you see where I’m going?
When we have fear… whether it is real or imagined (What if? … what if? … what if?) your immune system becomes compromised. If you are not in the portion of the population who is physically compromised already, this is not a time to comprise your immune system by focusing on fear.
To be clear, I am not saying to throw caution to the wind and act like Covid-19 isn’t a threat. It is. If you act like it isn’t, then you would just be “acting” anyway. We need to maintain social distancing and follow CDC recommendations on wearing masks so we don’t overwhelm the medical system.
But, how do we acknowledge that there is a serious situation, AND stay centered, confident and resourceful?
I believe, it is to be AWARE of your emotions and your THOUGHTS. Where are they leading you?
Have you watched a comedy lately?
When you take a walk do you stop and wonder at something beautiful in nature?
Do you share a laugh or a hello with someone at the grocery store?
Are you being generous? Grateful?
What music are you listening to? Is it soothing?
Are you acknowledging the creativity in the midst of this crisis?
What is your peace process? How do you find peace?
I would love to have you share your thoughts below and/or on my Facebook page Release & Renew with Coach Jill Felts. And if you are really struggling with fear, please schedule a coaching call. Don’t hang out there alone.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.